29 October, 2015

The Cypress Trap by J C Gatlin - [E-book Review]

Book Details: 
Title: The Cypress Trap
Author: J C Gatlin
Genre: Suspense/ Thriller
Source : A free review copy through Reading addiction virtual book tours

Blurb:
A good vacation delivers you home alive. 
This is not a good vacation.

When Rayanne commandeers her husband’s weekend fishing trip, she knows it’ll take work to adjust Owen’s attitude. She has no choice. Since the tragedy, they lost so much. They need to reconnect. 

Without her knowledge, Owen texts his best buddy, Daryl, to join the getaway. The three of them aren’t alone in the backwoods of Georgia, though. 

Owen took something that didn’t belong to him. Something that changed their lives. And now the owner wants it back. By any means -- including a posse led by a killer dog. 

At first, Rayanne is clueless about the item and its value. One thing becomes crystal clear: If it’s not returned, they might not make it home alive.

My Review:

I always love suspense and enjoy reading them. I completed this book in one go, it's interesting and a short read with around 115 pages. I got a feeling as if I am watching a thrilling movie while reading this. 

As blurb mentions, it's about a vacation gone bad for a couple Rayanne and Owen. Rayanne is in depression due to her son Conor's demise and Owen lost his job and doesn't want to work under his wife's father. Both are having a difficult time in terms of their relationship even though they love each other a lot. Rayanne wants to forget the past and enjoy time with her husband on this vacation. The story is about the attack of some strangers on the couple for some valuable thing that they possess, which they are unaware of till some point of time and the fight for their survival. While they plan to protect themselves from attackers and a dangerous dog Luger, both understand how much they love each other.

A true thriller, sets a stage, allows us to understand characters and emotions, then reveals a plot and at last, connects all the dots to clear the confusion. This book does all the above. It maintains the fast pace, which is a must for a thriller. Characterization is good, as i can understand the emotions of Rayanne after losing her son due to a mistake that she did. Owen's best friend Daryl shares a secret on what he stole from Owen before he dies, which gives an important twist to the story. Owen's and Daryl's friendship and Owen's love to Rayanne are portrayed well in the story. Flow is smooth and doesn't get boring.

Overall, it's a great read and I would recommend this to the lovers of suspense stories and also for those who like to read a quick novel.

My rating: 4/5

Excerpt from book:
Rayanne heard the kids’ voices, and she looked again at the old cars in the bottom of the ditch. The first thing that came to mind was rattlesnakes. But she knew she couldn’t think of that right now.
         She got up and headed for the rusted jeep. The hood was gone and it looked like a corpse left to rot in the sun. She glanced at the other cars. There was a hatchback with no doors. A pickup was off to one side, on blocks. The wheels had been removed and the driver’s side door thrown open and left to hang. There was a yellow Volkswagen Beetle half buried in the dirt.
Brown and yellow weeds sprouted up between the wrecks, but the ground was hard and Rayanne knew she had no choice. She raced past the rusting jeep, watching where she stepped.
         She moved to the shell of a Volkswagen Beetle. It had two doors. She forced the passenger side open and looked into the dark interior. The overhead lining draped down like a misty shroud. Weeds had grown through the undercarriage and overtaken the floorboards. But two front seats and a long backseat remained. It could be a hiding place, she thought, and squeezed herself into the backseat. She cowered as low as she could.
         She held her breath and prayed there was nothing living inside.
         She shut her eyes and listened. The teens’ voices grew louder. They sounded like they were coming down into the hollow and she could hear Scut—or was it Roddy—say something about the cars. He sounded excited.
         Dru was farther away. Rayanne could hear her calling the dog. Perhaps she didn’t want to walk down into the dump. It didn’t matter. Rayanne knew Scut and Roddy already had.
         Their voices echoed, slipping between the cars. One of them said something about the pile of tires and the other laughed. She could hear them moving about, throwing rocks on metal remains until they stopped right in front of the Volkswagen.
         Rayanne stopped breathing.
         “She’s hidden here somewhere,” Scut was saying. He threw another rock and it hit the bumper. The sound reverberated through the Volkswagen, and Rayanne shivered.
“Naaaah,” Roddy said. It sounded like he was walking away. “I don’t think so. She’s a woman. She ain’t gonna come down here.”
         “We’re not leav’n till we search every car.” Scut sounded like he was stepping away too. She could hear him throwing rocks at other cars now.
            Rude Roddy was saying something when one of them screamed. For a second Rayanne thought Dru had made her way down into the dump. She was surprised to learn it was Scut.
         “There’s a rattler! There’s a rattler!” Scut’s high-pitched wail echoed through the hollow, and she heard what sounded like some kind of skirmish. Perhaps an avalanche of gravel rolled down the slopes of the hollow, like marbles beneath their feet.
         “I hate snakes! I hate ’em!” Scut’s voice rapidly moved away, and it sounded as far as Dru’s now. The girl asked them what was wrong.
            They had to have climbed out of the hollow, Rayanne thought. She opened her eyes. She wanted to poke her head up, but didn’t dare.



About the Author:
Coming from a large family with five brothers, JC Gatlin grew up in Grapevine, Texas, a small town outside of Dallas. In 1999 he moved to Tampa, Florida, where he now resides. JC’s fishing trips help him breathe authenticity into his stories, which feature the rich landscapes of Texas and Florida as backdrops.

He has written a monthly column in New Tampa Style magazine and penned several mystery-suspense stories. His first, The Designated Survivor, was published in 2013. JC invites you to visit his mystery writing blog at jcgatlin.com.

Contact Links
You Tube (Book Trailer): https://youtu.be/mCKFIdWlZUE


Purchase Link

Until next time,








PS: Received this free copy from author through reading addiction tours and this is my honest opnion on the book.

27 October, 2015

Gratitude List - Oct 2015

This month, I have read many books and shared most of the reviews in my blog. It's a good phase in my blogging life and I am sure enjoying it :-)

Let me quickly share the list of things / moments that I am grateful to God this month.

1. Books, Books, Books
Got to read 5 books this month and could take the time to review 4 already and one more review is on the way. It's nice to fit into the old habit again. Thanks to my family for their support :-)

A heap of books is yet to arrive! I won them on #TornadoGiveAway. So, keeping my book shelf ready to add 25 books to my personal library.

2. A few things didn't happen the way I wanted to in this month. Got more clarity on my future decisions and I am thinking positive to make things work as I planned to. Let's see what's in future, but thanking God for giving me patience and positive spirit.

3.  This month started with a celebration. Yes, it's the first birthday party of my younger son. It's nice to celebrate with family. Good family time as part of Dusserah celebrations too!

4. I have to mention this. My inspiration is APJ Abdul Kalam. Got the opportunity to read a book on the collection of articles, speech and interviews about him.

5. Learnt a lot about blogging, monetizing, product reviews etc., Have to try my hands on slowly.

Last, but not the least. I have bought a custom domain for my blog :-) Will move to that domain soon when I get some time.

Linking this to Gratitude linkup hosted by Laurel. Also, linking this to Gratitude circle hosted by Vidya Sury and Corinne from everydaygyaan.


Think Positive, be Active and Enjoy Life.

Until next time,






Image courtesy: from google images tagged with non-commercial reuse.

Only wheat not white by Varsha Dixit

After sharing some realistic story books and biographies in my blog, let me share a contemporary romance setup in America. Participate in the raffle copter giveaway to win Rs.1000/-

Only Wheat not White by Varsha Dixit


Only Wheat Not White 
by 
Varsha Dixit 


The Blurb

What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can't! Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, 'out of caste, and out of color'. Elia soon realizes that Sheela's marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela's household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or 'blue-eyed ogre' as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor. As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila's refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward. Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate? Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in Varsha Dixit's latest and humorous and steamy love story.

Buy @



Meet the Author


I'm the author of four books and the genre that I write is contemporary romance. Penning stories defines and completes me.I thinks of myself as a borderline obsessive-compulsive dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true ‘feel good’ junkie seeking quick fixes, I love a good laugh and a good book. A voracious reader of who dunit mysteries and legal dramas, I did sit down to pen a book on serial killers but finding it impossible to maim or kill anyone, even on paper, I penned a romantic story instead. Thus, I found my true calling – at least for the time being.Even though creativity is gender free, I feel blessed and enriched to be a woman.

Currently, with my family, I'm settled in the US.

You can stalk her @


                           


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Until next time,






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26 October, 2015

Ever Faithful to his lead by Kathleen Pooler - [E-book Review]


Book Details:
Title: Ever Faithful to his lead
Author: Kathleen Pooler
Publisher: Open books press, USA
Genre: Biography
Source: A free copy form author

My Review:
This is a real story of the author and what I liked is her honesty in every sentence that's written. She walks us through her childhood memories, her family, extended family, games that they played and lessons she learned from her family. 

Kathy explains how her father allowed her to drink as much as she can on her eighteenth birthday to let her know the impact of too much alcohol on her body and how she followed 2 drink rule from then onwards. After graduating as Nurse, her goal was clear -

I want to be a nurse. I want to be like Anne Snow, riding into the mountainsto minister to poor people in their rundown cabins.

The note that she receives from her dad encouraging her to continue higher studies is worth a share here. It will be great if every parent thinks in this way, right?

Some parents think it’s important to accumulate an estate which they can leave their children. I happen to believe your mother and I will be successful as parents if we impart to our children ideals and standards that you can fall back on in your life plus guiding and helping in developing your talents for a happy future.

Kathy marries Ed who is alcoholic and abuses her. She always believed in a happy marriage mentioned in fairy tales. With 2 children and a free scholarship, she won from a great University and parent's support, she learns to deal with drunken husband even though he didn't take any responsibility.

Everyone who is going through abuse should read these lines
Until a woman learns to love herself above all others, she ends up serving those she loves poorly because her happiness has been compromised.
At last, she comes out of that relationship, gets a divorce, but takes a bad decision again by marrying Dan. After Kathy goes through 2 abusive relationships and gets out from that after long suffering, she mentions these lines, which shows she doesn't want to blame anyone for her decision.
Perhaps the most important lesson of all is that my happiness depends on my choices and is therefore within my control.
So, it's about the story of a woman who showed courage, got out from abuse and protected herself and her children from her abusive husband. Story and narration are gripping without much exagaration and very much realistic. I connected to the story well and felt the sadness of Kathy while reading. This story can be inspiring for many women who are going through abusive relationships and are unsure of coming out of the relation or afraid of the circumstances or society.

My Rating: 4.5/5
I would recommend this to women who are going through abusive relationships and someone who enjoys reading real stories.

About the Author:
Kathleen Pooler is a retired Family Nurse Practitioner and writer. Her memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse and work-in-progress sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir are about how the power of hope through her faith in God helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointment—domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure—to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.

One of Kathleen’s stories “The Stone on the Shore” is published in the anthology: The Woman I’ve Become: 37 Women Share Their Journeys From Toxic Relationships to Self-Empowerment by Pat LaPointe, 2012. Another story: “Choices and Chances” is published in the My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh, September, 2013.

She writes weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog: http://krpooler.com.
She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York. Connect with her at her blog and other online locations:

Twitter:
 Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/krpooler/

Until next time,






PS: I have received this free copy from the author and this review is my unbiased opinion.

21 October, 2015

Life and Lonliness

Life is a party when you are young
People come and go, some become best friends and some become acquaintances
There will never be a time of loneliness
Family and friends are always there to celebrate your success and console you in your failures
Life is busy and might not get much time for 'yourselves'

When you grow old, life is a party too
With only a few good friends left and close family besides
Close circle is always there to celebrate
Life is not so busy and you get a good time for 'yourselves'

Loneliness never comes in life, if occupied by hobbies and blessed with good health and close friends and family.

Linking this to Write or Die Wednesday hosted by Vashelle and Mia.

This week's prompt: Loneliness

Until next time,



20 October, 2015

Pupil's President Kalam - [Book Review]

A P J Abdul Kalam - How do I introduce about him? 

Our ex-President? Missile man? An inspiration to Indian youth? A great teacher? A philosopher? A scientist?
It's not easy. First of all, does he need an introduction in India? I don't think so.

He has gained many feathers in his cap and yet he was humble till the time he left our world. He was passionate about teaching, imparting knowledge to youth and guiding them in right direction. He has become an inspiration in our lives. I feel fortunate to read and review this book and I completely agree with the author that this book is not there to preserve in our book shelves as a collection. It is there to read, remember and get inspired.



Blurb:

The students’ diligent teacher, the nation’s gifted scientist, the humble ‘People’s President’ - an indefinable name he is. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. A man who dedicated his life and work to the betterment of a nation, and his time and energy to the billions of young minds he wished to ignite. He has left back dreams in everyone, and the undying inspiration to make those dreams come true.

A surfeit of contents has been interwoven to give this book a shape. To read through the pages will mean a journey through his life in entirety. Besides Kalam’s own speeches and quotes, it also contains literary tributes by scientists, academicians and students, the interviews of his family members, and a real-time anecdote of his interment ceremony at Rameswaram.

This isn’t just a tribute but the world beyond it to be read, explored and discovered.

Buy @ flipkart 

My review:

This book is a collection of articles, speech, interviews and excerpts about APJ Abdul Kalam, our beloved Ex-President. His story makes you believe that you can dream to soar great heights irrespective of whether you have enough money and support to reach your goal.

Once, Kalam mentions that he learnt religious tolerance from his father Jainulabiddin Marakayar. He used to accompany his father in morning walks where his father used to meet his friends (Hindu and Catholic) and they used to listen to people's problems and solve them together.

Many articles and interviews from different people worked with Kalam show how he used to take care of his staff. Articles also talk about his passion of motivating students. He also broke some security protocols to just give more time to students and understand their ideas.

One article mentions that he donated his 3 months salary for Ramakrishna Vivekananda mission. Usually, Presidents donate lakhs of rupees for charity, but he proved that he is self less by donating his 3 months salary.

Kalam's ambition was to become an air force pilot, he was depressed when he was the top 9th person in the interview and only top 8 people were selected. He got guidance from a Guru and thus took many important roles in DRDO and ISRO and became a leader of 3 armed forces of India. The title of the book is apt, as Kalam is Pupil's President.

Instead of reading a biography, it is interesting to read articles, interviews, speech by Kalam and about Kalam to understand him better. This gives an unbiased view on his personality. I surely keep this book in my bookshelf forever and want to read it whenever I get depressed. Since this is a collection, I cannot rate it by writing style or plot, but I would recommend this to each and every person on the Earth to read it at least once.

 About the Author:

Satyam Roychowdhury is a man of assorted interests. He is the co-founder and currently the Managing Director of Techno India Group the largest educational conglomerate in Eastern India. He is a prominent member and an active participant of the Art and Cultural milieu of Bengal. He has contributed to the society in multifaceted ways with his unstinted support and persistent patronage. He is one of the top educationalists of the country, but he is voracious reader by passion and a writer by ardour. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and he draws inspiration from great minds by imbibing their philosophies.

Roychowdhury is a tireless traveler on the path of creativity, and his journey has come a long way. His “For You” tribute series commenced with Tagore, got enriched with Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after that, and the latest on has been a literary offering to Thakur Sri Ramakrishna. He owns many other titles to his credit, and his books have time and again inspired hundreds of young minds. He is a firm believer in hard work and sacrifice, and he thinks there is a spark in everyone to create a miracle. 


Saluting the great soul of our Beloved Ex-President.


Until next time,



18 October, 2015

Metro Diaries by Namrata - [Book review]

Here comes a book like a fresh breeze in the beach. The topic of Love is always fresh and love stories are evergreen. Many things change in this world, but people still are bound by love and give it an important place in their lives. So, when I received a copy of this book for review, I was excited to read love stories.


Metro Diaries 
by 
Namrata 




The Blurb
Love is one of the most amazing feelings on this earth, one that makes you the most powerful person or the most helpless person in a split second. These stories capture those feelings of despair, longing, love, lust, desire, want, dejection and admiration to create deja vu. Hold onto your hearts as you flip through these pages and take a walk down the memory lane, as "metro diaries" will revive your innermost feelings and imbibe in you the magic of love. Touching, amusing and deeply moving, metro diaries - love classics are tales that will hold you from start till end. 
Buy @ Amazon.in 

My Review

This book is a collection of short stories and there are many short and lovely poems in between. I enjoyed reading most of them, but a few were boring. Will share few things that I loved in some selected stories. After you complete the book, you might suffer from overdose of love :-)

Story#1: Once in a lifetime
This is the story of a woman who is scared to forget her past and move on. She finds her soulmate, but afraid that things happened in her past will repeat. It's about the conflict in her heart and at last deciding on accepting her soulmate.

This story is filled with a lot of conflicting thoughts and a quick past. I could agree with the protagonist on how difficult it is to choose a right path while suffering from wounded past. This seemed more like a poetry than a story for me, which I didn't enjoy much. 

Story#2: Then, now and forever
A story on how Ron reunites with his love of life Anna after discovering a cherished possession of his grandma. 

Loved these lines from the story -
Love is always beautiful then, now and forever. It is people who make it ugly. Amongst this ugliness, there will only be one heart that will be able tosing back the song your heart wants to hear, and the day you find that heart, never let it go at any cost…..

Story 4: The wait
Loved these lines in the story

To say she was dressed to kill would be wrong, for my heart was still beating but it was surely missing its beats once in a while.
Many can relate to this story. Until we miss someone we don't realize how much we need them in our life. A good story with a touch of humour at the end.

Story #5: A secret revealed
Ah.. my favourite story in the book. Such a wonderful story full of emotions. 

Story #7: Will you?
It's not a story, but a lovely proposal. 
To all those teenage boys who are yet to propose, this makes a beautiful love letter :-)
Aren't these lines lovely?

Come, hold my hand and take me away with you. Make all my dreams come true.Let’s make a different world of ours,Let’s become “WE” from me and you!
Story #10: The sole Soulmate
This is the story of Sahil who finds true love in his long time friend Nishani. 
How are these lines from the story? 
We all love in four ways ; one from our heart, where we like someone’s nature or actions; one from the mind, where we like someone’s thoughts; one from the body, where we are physically attracted to someone, and lastly from the soul, one that is our soul mate. Sometimes all the four loves are found in one person, which is very rare and sometimes we find four people for each of these loves.
Story #16: A message of love

A story of a couple patching up after a breakup. She receives this message of love from him
I promise to hug you so tight that all of our broken pieces will stick backtogether; for I myself am broken without you!
She immediately clicked on reply and began typing:
Will you hold together all my broken pieces together,seal them with your love and make me complete once
That says it all!

My Rating: 3/5
It's difficult to review a collection of short stories as a few will be good, a few will be excellent and a few might not be great. But, I have rated it as per my overall satisfaction quotient after finishing the book.

I would recommend this to everyone who are in love, be it, married or single :-) and also those who love poetry.

Meet the Author






Namrata is a prolific blogger known by the name Privy Trifles in the blogosphere who romances life through her writings and aspires to make love the universal language. She dons various hats between that of a contributing author to 8 anthologies a reviewer for leading publishing houses an editor to various books and a columnist. Apart from that she is also the editor for an online magazine called Writer's Ezine. Having mastered the nuances of finance till recently she also held the title of an investment banker closely to let it go to embrace her love for writing fully.


You can stalk her @


                          

      

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Until next time,






PS: Received a free copy from author for review through the book club in exchange of an honest review. 
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